Wii Fit has already sold more than 8.7 million units worldwide and has maintained a shockingly high sales run rate of about 225,000 units per week for the last few months.
At the same time, Take-Two Interactive Software's Grand Theft Auto IV has dropped off the best seller lists with about 10.6 million copies sold, which means that Nintendo's Wii Fit should surpass it in sales.
What's driving this? Women. Nintendo realized that there was an untapped audience of "women and moms" (their words, not mine) that would allow it to expand the brand. This is counter to the traditionally male-dominated world of video games.
Wagner James Au nails the irony of Wii Fit versus GTA:
A blockbuster franchise for nearly a decade, Grand Theft Auto's fantasy world of antisocial behavior has helped solidify a stereotype of gamers as 18-34 males, but the market has expanded far beyond that sector. Wii Fit's success is the most prominent, emblematic example of that shift. And an ironic one at that: Every edition of GTA has aroused complaints over its portrayal of women. Yet this year, it's women consumers who will help steal Grand Theft Auto IV's thunder.
A number of casual game makers I have spoken with told me that their audience is primarily women. Maybe Nintendo has cracked the code for an emerging market.
Link to GigaOm: Wii Fit on track to outsell GTA IV this year